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Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 130 Stack Exchange communities.

Catchphrases and concepts that spread from person to person are known as memes, which, courtesy the Internet, can now explode across the Earth like a highly contagious virus (hence "going viral"). As with their real-life counterparts, some infectious diseases are global (pandemic), while others are endemic to specific regions.

Stack Overflow, and now even more predominantly Meta Stack Overflow, have seen more than their fair share of these pathological social constructs spread through the user base. They are now ingrained units of our collective culture as SOpedians (a term which I hate, by the way).

Just as travelers' immune systems can be assaulted by new diseases in new places, new users are increasingly likely to be miffed by an ingrained meme and left sitting scratching their heads. I therefore propose that this space be used to document the memes endemic to Stack Exchange's culture.

Each meme should be listed separately and I hope that we as a community will be able to provide greater context to each one.

Please actually explain each meme in a way understandable to those not already in the know.

Return to FAQ index

On other Stack Exchange sites

share|improve this question
22  
Wasn't sure whether to add Joda Time (as the default answer for any Java date/time question). I don't think it really counts as a meme though... –  Jon Skeet Sep 1 '09 at 20:22
67  
faq? I'd call this just an aq –  John the Seagull Sep 1 '09 at 22:32
21  
Meh. People ask this stuff? It's merely a q. –  Shog9 Sep 2 '09 at 3:13
10  
You hate "SOpedians"??? I'm going to kill a pony in revenge. –  Stu Thompson Sep 2 '09 at 15:44
9  
@Shog9: The a in aq stands for "answered", not "asked" :-) –  John the Seagull Sep 5 '09 at 15:06
2  
Does, the "jump the shark" qualify? What is it all about? –  OscarRyz Sep 11 '09 at 19:02
25  
@Oscar Reyes - "Jump the shark" is a phrase inspired by a popular TV show (Happy Days) when it's main character (Fonzie) was skiing towards a fishy death, only to evade it at the last minute via upwards aerial propulsion. It is used to describe a deus ex machina in a story that seems unrealistic, as if the writer had written him- or herself into a corner and couldn't come up with any feasible way to save the hero. It means the show is out of good ideas and is past its prime, and must use gimmicks (like aquatic carnivore leaping) to draw in audiences. The principle can easily be generalized. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Oct 1 '09 at 5:45
15  
Please note: "Jump the shark" has specific meaning in the Jeff/Joel context: see here: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000679.html –  Benjol Oct 29 '09 at 11:05
8  
What (TF) is "Cultural Height"? 6 ft 2 inches??? –  user135186 Dec 12 '09 at 5:26
41  
This question belongs on Meta-Meta –  JoelFan Feb 25 '11 at 18:33
3  
This whole page has me laughing out loud. –  Maxpm Jun 29 '11 at 5:07
3  
Meme? a meme is a funny joke with stick figures and funny faces..... curse you wikipedia. –  Gabe Dec 12 '11 at 18:17
1  
I don't understand mulching. Can someone please define it? –  Andy Thomas Dec 12 '11 at 18:25
35  
You should totally drop those memes and try jQuery. –  Alex Coplan Dec 14 '11 at 10:17

51 Answers 51

Meme: Jon Skeet

Originator: Jon Skeet

Cultural Height: Every Day. Ever.

Background: Jon Skeet is an avid user of Stack Overflow, whose many answers (primarily in and ) have earned him hundreds of thousands of reputation points. This makes him the top-ranked SO user.

Related: Jon Skeet Facts.

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128  
He even gets the most upvotes as a meme!! –  akf Sep 2 '09 at 2:13
34  
6 to 8 weeks surpassed Jon Skeet, it only took 6 to 8 weeks. –  Ólafur Waage Nov 4 '09 at 23:06
29  
Jon Skeet is now above 6 to 8 weeks, and it did not take 6 to 8 weeks. Only Jon Skeet can bypass this rule! –  Ólafur Waage Nov 16 '09 at 21:32
45  
I thought Mum Skeet was the originator of Jon?... –  Locutus Apr 23 '10 at 12:39
7  
@Locutus: Jon Skeet coded himself in lisp so that he could go on to invent assembly language. –  intuited Apr 12 '11 at 2:39
6  
John Skeet is a computer programmer program (which programs computer programmer programs). –  muntoo Apr 27 '11 at 5:29
2  
Jon Skeet is the new Chuck Norris meme? Amazing sure, but why the caveman idolatry? Skeet skeet. –  one.beat.consumer Feb 2 '12 at 7:15
11  
Once, I told my friend about Jon and he was so impressed, he googled it. But he made one major fatal mistake he never expected...He typed "Jon" as "John". To no surprise, our entire district was blacklisted by Google. –  Hele Apr 18 '13 at 4:16

Meme: jQuery

Originator: Unknown (possibly Ólafur Waage)

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: A Stack Overflow-centric meme, jQuery began its career early on as the answer to beat for any question that even remotely referenced JavaScript. Its popularity became so great that eventually jQuery became the default answer to any potential question on Stack Overflow no matter how ridiculous.

Usage: "Hey, I see you are trying to connect to that Oracle database using C++. You should totally drop that and try jQuery."

See Also: Greasemonkey (Meta Stack Overflow equivalent)

share|improve this answer
316  
I see you're trying to blame me for a meme. You should totally drop that and try jQuery. –  Ólafur Waage Sep 2 '09 at 9:22
7  
I'd like to point out that since 1.4 dropped the answer to every jQuery question has been to use the new $.live() functionality. –  Hogan Feb 23 '10 at 18:43
118  
6  
@jeff - You've got me lol'ing - Oh wow, that's good. –  Adam Davis Apr 23 '10 at 2:06
31  
omg that screenshot is priceless :D –  wildpeaks Dec 21 '10 at 22:55
3  
8  
-1 not enough jQuery in this answer ;D –  Ephraim Apr 26 '12 at 19:51
1  
3  
It's deleted :( –  Joe the Person Jul 15 '12 at 17:43
6  
I think jQuery is the way to bring this question back. –  Yamaneko Oct 11 '12 at 0:06
2  
I bet the screenshot by @JeffAtwood was made using jQuery, perhaps with some Greasemonkey included. –  Simon André Forsberg Sep 20 '13 at 16:35
1  
jQuery? Use Python! (It has import antigravity!) –  Mew May 4 at 0:30

Meme: 6 to 8 Weeks

Originator: Jeff Atwood

First Heard: May 13th, 2008

Cultural Height: In about 6 to 8 weeks

Definition: The time estimate given "off the top of my head" when the Stack Overflow team has only a vague idea of how long a task will take because they have little-to-no formal scheduling or even a list of tasks.

Background:

Taken from the transcript of Podcast 005, from 03 min 18 secs

Atwood: Some people have been asking about scheduling, and I want to clarify, I've been telling people six to eight weeks until we get to what we call our private beta of Stack Overflow. [dialog deleted] ...And I've also been getting some very very nice emails from people that want to help in some way and contribute, and I've been inviting those people into our private beta... uh... later on. So

Spolsky: Wait how do you invite what? Through what mechanism do you invite them into our private beta?

Atwood: Basically they email me directly and then, I add them to the list. And then six weeks from now...

Spolsky: Oh. And you have like a notepad file type thing.

Atwood: Pretty much, it's just a basic text file. But yeah, it's hard to manage having a bunch of people contributing at this point, cause we're still in very much the formative of stages. But certainly once we get into private beta, I want tons of people to look at it and provide feedback at that point. So if you can postpone your desire for about six weeks, uh, we'll get you.

Spolsky: So how do you get this 6 to 8 weeks? What's this based on? Did you like make some tasks that you want to complete?

Atwood: uh no, I er.. That's just sort of... err... off the top of my head

Spolsky: [laughs] Well okay, you're doomed Jeff. There's some controversy. You, sir, are doomed, because you don't know what things you have to do.

Atwood: Yes. I know, I know.

Reference: Podcast 005

share|improve this answer
142  
There's a WEBSITE for that?!? LMFAO! –  chakrit Sep 2 '09 at 19:04
14  
Some people have waaay too much money. –  Henri Watson Sep 10 '09 at 20:33
1  
OMG this is hilar! –  xanadont Oct 14 '09 at 17:53
35  
Reticulating Splines is from Sim City. –  Brad Gilbert Oct 19 '09 at 22:35
17  
The Sim City 2000 random map generator to be exact. It has since appeared as a joke in other (mostly Maxis/now EA) software. –  David Nov 5 '09 at 14:39
5  
I just watched Madagascar 2 in German - and the penguins said when asked how long it will take to fix the plane after the crash: "Oh, we should be ready in about 6 to 8 months..." Coincidence? ;) –  Spontifixus May 18 '13 at 18:56
41  
The site is down :( isup.me/http://www.cznp.com/6to8weeks/index.php. It probably won't be up for another six to eight weeks... –  gsingh2011 Jul 19 '13 at 22:01

Meme: Freehand Circles

Originator: TheTXI

Cultural Height: TBD

(freehand-circled text) Background: Whenever screenshots are submitted, it is good practice to try and point the user to what you are talking about through the usage of arrows and shapes to lead one's eye. The greatest of these tools is the circle, and it has become customary to give cheap upvotes to users who painstakingly draw circles free hand and do not rely on lazy shape tools that give soulless circles devoid of personality. It has also become customary to unjustly punish users who refrain from using freehand circles, or who eschew the practice of circling important information altogether.¶ The effectiveness of freehand circles to illustrate screenshots can be further augmented via the usage of drop shadows. It has been shown that special combinations of freehand circles and drop shadows in unison have led to spontaneous erotic climax.

See Also: Here, and Here as answer to this post

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13  
I find the circle tool accomplishes the task faster than using the freehand tool. ... We're not designers! –  chakrit Sep 2 '09 at 19:29
194  
@chakrit: You have no soul. –  TheTXI Sep 2 '09 at 19:42
11  
Memo to self: Use the pen instead of the mouse to draw circles, that way they have a soul and can look great at the same time. –  Joey Nov 27 '09 at 17:29
29  
Ultimate combination: freehand circle and arrow, with drop shadow, on a picture with faded torn edge borders (themselves with drop shadow!). See stackoverflow.com/questions/2295414/… –  VonC Feb 19 '10 at 12:05
8  
I like scary monks much better! –  Arjan Jan 31 '11 at 18:11
15  
...I couldn't help myself. This post needed more freehand circles. –  GnomeSlice May 5 '11 at 0:35
4  
Feature request for image editors: Freehand-Looking circle tool. –  Gaelan Jul 22 '13 at 0:21

Meme: Unicorns (née Ponies)

Origin: TheTXI

Cultural Height: April 1st, 2009

Background: The pony meme began without fanfare early in TheTXI's time as a member of Stack Overflow. Its first recorded usages can be traced back to long-running comment threads and arguments on both Stack Overflow and User Voice. The comment "I like ponies" would be interjected into threads, seemingly at random, which inevitably led to those threads getting completely derailed.

Before long, it became evident that TheTXI was not the only SOpedian who found ponies to be the most wonderfullest things ever. Ponies' popularity grew to the point where Jeff Atwood and the Stack Overflow development team implemented the Cornify button on all questions and answers on April Fools' Day 2009. From there, the popularity of ponies — and their magical weaponized form, unicorns — grew exponentially.

For April Fools' Day 2010, all avatar requests were sent to Unicornify instead of Gravatar, resulting in every user having a personal unicorn for the day.

For April Fools' Day 2011, voting on questions triggered unicorn animations.

For April Fools' Day 2014 unicoins where added to stack allowing users mine coins which could then be used to purchase different powers for use on stack sites. What are Stack Overflow unicoins?

Related: http://www.ponyoverflow.com

Historical notes: In 2006, for April Fools' Day, Slashdot switched to a pink ponies theme. This subsequently led to an "OMG Ponies" Slashdot meme.

share|improve this answer
127  
Unicorns are the magically weaponized form of a pony. –  TheTXI Sep 1 '09 at 21:46
7  
Sunshine and sparkles are their weapons. –  user27414 Sep 1 '09 at 21:47
20  
+1 for the word "wonderfullest" –  Graeme Perrow Sep 2 '09 at 12:27
1  
obligatory link to i-want-a-pony.com –  Sam Hasler Sep 2 '09 at 15:40
15  
Unicorns are not magical ponies. They are a cross between a horse, a goat, a lion, and a narwhale (or something with a horn). A true unicorn has a goat's beard and a lion's tail. The equine part is horse, not pony. Unicorns aren't cute, they are dangerous. –  thursdaysgeek Nov 12 '09 at 0:38
2  
There is an answer on SO with 1600 plus upvotes. Could this be mainly because it mentions ponies, in a beautifully subliminal way? stackoverflow.com/questions/1732348/… –  MarkJ Nov 20 '09 at 13:34
3  
@MarkJ: No, it's because it was featured on digg & codinghorror, and was actually modeled after the madmen often featured in HP Lovecraft's writings. However, in its sublime madness, it brought in many (MANY) SO in-jokes, and that probably did contribute to the orgy of upvote love. –  John Rudy Nov 20 '09 at 22:45

Meme: plzsendtehcodez

Originator: TheDailyWTF, as documented here.

First Use of Tag: Documented Here.

Cultural Height: Unknown

Background: The tag was predominantly used on SO to label questions with some variant of the phrase "please send the codes" present in the language of the question, or more generally any homework question directly copied from an assignment without any attempt made by the original poster to solve it himself.

It is now considered bad practice to apply the tag to a question and users with retagging privileges should remove it as necessary.

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4  
Periodically a new variant will pop up, perhaps in a misguided attempt to eventually gain the Taxonomist badge. –  Ether Oct 11 '09 at 6:44
30  
I did it once as a misguided attempt at humor... :( –  Mechko May 25 '10 at 23:47

Meme: Fastest Gun in the West (FGITW)

Originator: Omer van Kloeten

First Heard: September 11th, 2008

Definition: A problem identified as a side-effect of sorting votes by descending score where first-posted answers are quickly up-voted, trumping vote opportunities for people who sit down and answer a question in a long, thorough way.

Background: This problem was originally identified on UserVoice.com and reposted to meta.stackexchange.com here: Fastest Gun in the West Problem. Whether the FGITW problem is actually a problem has been a source of controversy. Many considered it a feature — get fast answers, by design. Various solutions were suggested including this one (Randomly reorder all answers posted within 10 minutes of each other), which was eventually implemented, inciting another protest labeled "The Slowest Cheater in the East (SCITE) problem".

share|improve this answer
3  
This is not a meme, this is just an acronym. –  GEOCHET Sep 1 '09 at 22:29
29  
A meme is a catchphrase or concept. "Fastest Gun in the West" qualifies on both accounts (which just happens to have a convenient acronym). –  Robert Cartaino Sep 1 '09 at 22:38
9  
Or is it an initialism? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronym_and_initialism –  Christopher Galpin Sep 21 '09 at 4:40
2  
@Christopher Galpin: Agreed. FGITW is an initialism (is not pronounced as a word, cf. MVC, PHP), SCITE is an acronym (can be pronounced as a word, cf. NATO, laser). –  alastairs Nov 11 '09 at 18:11
7  
I beg to differ. Fuh-Get-Wuh. (Actually, the last syllable would probably be better represented with a schwa.) C'mon, we're computer guys, we pronounce every initialism! (Hello, WSDL?) –  John Rudy Nov 20 '09 at 22:48

Meme: Two problems.

Originator: Unknown (the quote itself is by Jamie Zawinski)

Cultural Height: Neverending

Background: A quotation by Jamie Zawinski goes like this:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.

There are many questions on Stack Overflow relating to regular expressions, and many answers that suggest regular expressions. In a lot of cases, a regular expression is simply not necessary or even useful. Hence the phrase, "Now you have two problems," usually posted as a comment.

Examples: Here, here, here, here.

A regular expression question also caused the breakdown of an Stack Overflow member.

share|improve this answer
21  
meh, I don't really consider this a meme of SO or meta –  Nathan Koop Sep 9 '09 at 21:39
3  
Aw, why all the downvotes? This is far more prolific than most of the other answers posted. –  DisgruntledGoat Feb 24 '10 at 14:59
7  
+1 for the bobnice link. I had tears in my eyes, laughing. –  DMin Aug 26 '10 at 3:57
1  
Why only 5 ups? This is one of the funniest memes here. –  HuBeZa Nov 18 '10 at 14:20
3  
xkcd.com/1171 –  Piccolo Apr 4 '13 at 1:00

Meme: Eeeek!

Originator: Marti

First Seen: 4 Mar. 2011 ~ Eeeek what happened to my envelope? (sorry guys, 10k only. Screenshot for <10K users)

Cultural Height: Probably still to be reached, given the increase of developers working for Stack Exchange. Although see comments here for first signs of possible decline (2 weeks after first appearance).

Definition: Stack Overflow developers like to change things, just for the heck of it. This can be shocking for users, who find their site suddenly different in some way. Cherished envelopes go missing, then cherished posts complaining about cherished envelopes going missing go missing, then posts complaining about the missing posts go missing (sometimes before they're even given time to be cherished!).

The inevitable response to this shock is a high-pitched squeal, aptly captured in the title prefix, "Eeek!" (See FAQ section for proper spelling.)

Origin: Once upon a time Stack Exchange 2.0 supported a site-specific notification system to find all the things that had happened to your account since the last time you logged in to that one site. It was supposedly horrid and lots of people hated it. The SEI staff removed it so they could implement a new feature. People FREAKED OUT. I'm pretty sure that when Vesuvius blew that the people took it less hard than the users on Stack Exchange 2.0 sites freaked out over this new change.

Since then, several other topics have been raised with similar titles and topics.

FAQ

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21  
All the people who hated the envelope with a passion hated its appearance only. The page it linked to was (and until it's deleted, still is) probably the most useful part of the UI. –  Marti Mar 17 '11 at 21:19
2  
Sure I have. In all umpteen of the different places I have to look. –  Marti Mar 17 '11 at 21:22
5  
So to anyone reading this who hasn't read the edit revision log, you should. And the point of this thread in general is comedy. This post is not intended to be a dig at anyone, and is satire. Also, the regulars here know they can find me in chat most of the time. TTYL. –  jcolebrand Mar 17 '11 at 23:21
4  
or should I have said 6 - 8 weeks? –  jcolebrand Mar 18 '11 at 16:26
26  
@drachenstern You mean 6-8 weeeeeks? Ba-dum ching. –  NickC Mar 20 '11 at 4:59

Meme: Stack Exchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™

Originator: badp, made popular by rchern in a comment on this question

First Seen: 27 Sept. 2010

Cultural Height: margin-top: 6px;

Definition: alt text

Variants:

  • Stack Exchange™ GlobalTag MegaBlender™ (1, 2)
  • Stack Exchange™ ChronoWarping ChatCombinator™ (1)
  • Stack Exchange™ PeopleEmpowering Diamond-O-Matic™ (1 - deleted)

Related:

  • Stack Exchange™ SuperCollider MicroDashboard™ (1 - deleted)
  • Stack Exchange™ SuperCollider Freehand Circle™ Editor (1)
share|improve this answer
33  
Please move quickly to the StackExchange, as the effects of prolonged exposure to the SuperDropdown are not part of this test. –  Josh Lee Oct 6 '10 at 20:40
1  
I keep telling you... exposure to the MultiColider SuperDropdown is not a part of this test. >:| –  Powerlord Oct 13 '10 at 19:38
43  
+1 for Cultural Height in CSS! –  Jonathan Day Dec 16 '10 at 5:30
1  
@Jonathan: The cultural height line was balpha's edit. And I like it, too. –  dmckee Dec 16 '10 at 14:35
1  
1  
This comment is intended to make @TheTXI happier by making TheTXI click the StackExchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™. –  muntoo Dec 8 '11 at 1:23
8  
+1 for freehand circles! –  Anish Gupta Jun 3 '12 at 13:33
1  
Should be updated... –  Double AA Dec 12 '13 at 22:30

Meme: Rep Whore

Originator: ?

First Heard: September 19, 2008

Definition: Stack Overflow users who post questions or answers for the sole benefit of accumulating as many reputation points as possible, without regard to the technical merit or the contribution to the system.

Background: The term "whore" has been applied to many features of Stack Overflow — badge whores, question whores, karma whores — but the most pervasive term has been the title of "rep whore." The earliest use of this term I could find was in the comments of this answer, but its usage predates this example.

Examples:

share|improve this answer
23  
The term "karma whore" has been used on slashdot for at least a decade for essentially the same thing – cynically making posts that align with the groupthink in order to gain karma. –  John Fouhy Sep 2 '09 at 0:23
19  
@rcartaino Leave it - it's important people understand why TheTXI is the way he is. And why he has so much rep. –  Jared Harley Sep 2 '09 at 3:59
2  
@rcartaino: It's fine to leave it. I was just pointing out that we've been rep whoring longer than we've been talking about it. –  Bill the Lizard Sep 2 '09 at 13:56
4  
rep farming is a WoW term. –  Paul Nathan Sep 2 '09 at 17:49
5  
Rep whoring is as old as politics. Reputation or Representative, take your pick. –  Kelly S. French Nov 11 '09 at 19:39

Meme: Pluralization Bug

Originator: Jeff Atwood

Cultural Height: Ongoing

First Seen: Here

Background: Originally seen on Twitter here, Jeff made his feelings clear about users posting pluralization bugs by saying

Dear Next Person Who Opens a Pluralization 'Bug', I will personally come to your house and bludgeon you to death with a giant S

It has since been used as a response to numerous posts about pluralization and is the default accepted answer.

See Also: Here, Here, Here, Here and Here or the tag

share|improve this answer
48  
I think you mean "numerous posts". –  Justin Morgan Mar 28 '11 at 15:41
2  
I think you mean "...and are the default accepted answer." –  Super Long Names are Hilarious May 11 '11 at 20:48
3  
Apparently Jeff's giant S has divers duties above and beyond this - it may have been sighted while burninating here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/92746/burninate-the-easy-tag/… Note that its appearance seems to be quite suitable for bludgeoning. –  Piskvor May 26 '11 at 14:53
1  
@SuperLongNamesareHilarious: No, the it in the sentence refers to the (singular) post. "It has...and is ..." –  T.J. Crowder Feb 8 '12 at 22:23
3  
Now, the good thing is that Jeff Atwood no longer works at Stack Exchange, so that means that he won't be around to answer questions related to such pluralization "bugs". –  user215114 Jul 26 '13 at 19:18

Meme: Boat Programming

Origin: Santiago

Cultural Height: Discussed on both the podcast and the blog.

Background: See here.

Related: Capture of a capture of the original question, Boat Programming Pics on Meta

share|improve this answer
9  
See also: youtube.com/watch?v=R7yfISlGLNU (explicit lyrics). –  Bill the Lizard Sep 1 '09 at 20:35
6  
I really enjoyed that question...and I was sad to see it go. –  ajm Sep 1 '09 at 21:23
2  
Link to original question is dead, any other link? –  Andreas Bonini Jan 26 '10 at 17:26
2  
@Koper: Matt McDole's capture is the only existing version that I know of (so if that's gone, it's gone). The original question was hard-deleted; not even 10k+ users can see it. It actually contained information that is against SO's privacy policy to release. –  mmyers Jan 26 '10 at 18:48
4  
@mmyers♦: Quoth the server: 404. (410 Gone would have been more dramatic, but OTOH it doesn't scan) –  Piskvor Aug 26 '10 at 21:13
1  
last obtainable archive capture: web.archive.org/web/20100426125115/http://www.mattmcdole.com/… –  Tobias Kienzler Aug 13 '12 at 6:36
2  
@mmyers yes, but I'm asking why we just didn't hard delete Jeff's answer? Why'd we have to hard delete the entire question? –  Cole Johnson Sep 6 '13 at 18:16
1  
@ColeJohnson: "We" had nothing to do with it. When this happened, the only moderators were the four employees of Stack Overflow Internet Services, Inc.: Jeff, Joel, Jarrod, and Geoff. Jeff was the only one engaged in active moderation. (And for the record, I wasn't a moderator in May 2010.) –  mmyers Sep 6 '13 at 19:52
1  
@mmyers that's still doesn't answer why the entire question had to be deleted. –  Cole Johnson Sep 6 '13 at 20:26

Meme: Waffles.

Originator: Eric

Cultural Height: Late August and Early September, 2009

Background: Eric just really likes waffles, and apparently so does everyone else who has even a shred of decent humanity. Those who do not like waffles may also be Vampires and haters of all things pony related.
It is also likely a reference to Oolong, a well known Internet phenomenon: "Oolong (rabbit) - A bunny trained to balance objects on its head. Famous for balancing pancakes and waffles, it has become a meme similar to Lolcats."

Further Background: In an ensuing discussion regarding the delicious food, users were put in the penalty box for a day. There are conflicting reports that allege moderator abuse — perhaps an anti-waffle agenda — and others who believe it was due to over-zealousness on the part of the suspended. Tragically, because much of the commenting was deleted, a proper historical account is difficult to build.

See also: What is up with the waffle fetish?Meta SO 404 pageThe official Stack Overflow bunny

share|improve this answer
67  
........... I Love –  waffles Nov 22 '09 at 0:01

Meme: Spam haiku

Originator:
Jeff Atwood likes fun
Played a trick on all of us
Now he must explain.

First Heard:
From ennuikiller
First to find it; asks us all
Jeff all so silent.

Cultural Height:
haiku always vogue
And some also like to spam
Now bot must protect.

Background:
Others hit haiku
Questions begin to pile up
Only talk: haiku.

Detection bot sees
Speaks in riddles of haiku
Makes us think again.

Variants:
Little slab of meat
In a wash of clear jelly
Now I heat the pan

Cube of cold pinkness
Yellow specks of porcine fat
Give me a spork please

Fallout:
many seek answers
many more post meta-kus
no more is knowing.

share|improve this answer
2  
I think "ennuikiller" is 4 syllables: on-wee-kill-er –  gnostradamus Dec 14 '09 at 15:25
18  
@gnostradamus Everybody's a critic. –  alex Dec 14 '09 at 18:08

Meme: Everything is a meme

Originator: TheTXI

Cultural Height: 2009-09-10 16:41:20Z

Background: This meme began with TheTXI's obsession over memes in general, starting memes on Stack Overflow, and claiming memes for himself. In an effort to garner wide-spread adoption of his various bad habits and nervous ticks, he began this project to catalog the prevailing memes on Meta Stack Overflow, making most of them up as he went along based on things that someone wrote, somewhere, a few times. It caught on. Sort of.

share|improve this answer
19  
This meme entry is a meme. Divide by Zero. Oh shiiiii! –  Ólafur Waage Sep 10 '09 at 19:31
6  
Why are TheTXI's ticks nervous? And why would I want to adopt one of them? Don't they already have homes? Or is that why they're nervous? –  mmyers Sep 11 '09 at 22:08
12  
TheTXI has been known to crush pets. The ticks are justifiably nervous! –  Shog9 Sep 11 '09 at 22:33
2  
This video I think explains it all... youtube.com/watch?v=fRHzQYmLuXk –  Question-Failed Jul 30 '10 at 13:36
4  
I think you mean 'tics'. –  GnomeSlice Oct 26 '10 at 19:47

Meme: Move the turtle in LOGO

Originator: Joel Spolsky

Cultural Height: June 16, 2009.

Background: During Podcast 58, Joel Spolsky experimented with the SO-Community by seeing how the community would respond to the question "How do I move the turtle in LOGO?"

Further Background: LOGO itself has now been used as a quasi-popular choice for users who assign a random programming language to a question that is asking how to do something but not providing enough background material (such as what language they are attempting to use).

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1  
@gbarry: Rigth now, stackoverflow.com appears consistently fourth in different querys for that question. –  perbert Sep 4 '09 at 17:48
2  
Now it's first. –  SLaks Nov 12 '09 at 23:03
1  
@Cawas I was able to find it on the Wayback: web.archive.org/web/20101030214847/http://stackoverflow.com/… –  Jonathan Sampson Dec 21 '11 at 21:58

Meme: Community Wiki Police

Aliases: Watchful, Community-minded Users

Originator: Lance Roberts

Cultural Height: 10th October, 2010 - the day Community Wiki questions went the way of the dodos

Definition: To demand, via downvoting or commenting, that a question be made community wiki.

share|improve this answer
53  
17 links in 1 line of text. That has to be some sort of record. –  Robert Cartaino Sep 2 '09 at 18:01
1  
@rcartaino - And I'm sure they're the tip of the iceberg –  Gavin Miller Sep 2 '09 at 18:09
2  
@rcartaino: Ha, I've got that beat. Behold my 19 links: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10114/… –  Hilarious Comedy Pesto Sep 10 '09 at 16:40
2  
Its interesting that some of my comments, particularly related to downvoting, was lumped in with the community wiki police when I've been posting pretty consistently for the last 9 months that CW is a bad feature. See this post (stackoverflow.com/questions/639035/…) for context: one user voted to close a "fun" thread unless wiki'd, which I feel amounts to bullying. So I singled out one his own non-wiki'd "fun" threads as a demonstration that CW policing is inconsistent in a "taste of your own medicine" kind of way. –  Juliet Oct 1 '09 at 16:42
2  
This CW police should no longer be possible under the new rules - maybe Cultural Height can be determined now. –  Jean Hominal Oct 26 '10 at 12:06

Meme: Friday Afternoon

Origin: Olafur Waage

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Friday Afternoon is generally recognized as the period of the week when programmers like to slack off (more than usual) and begin an early unwinding from the past week's worth of not doing anything of great importance or productiveness. This time period has often resulted in users posting "laid back" or "fun" questions on Stack Overflow, meeting both great acclaim and massive community outrage.

The Friday Afternoon theme has now gained more traction on Meta Stack Overflow more than any other site in the League of Justice. It is not uncommon to see multiple "Friday Afternoon" questions posted throughout the day. This resulted in the creation of the tag , which used to be quite popular until one sad day it got marked as a synonym of .

There is no set time frame which Friday Afternoon falls, because as once said in a song, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere". Because of this, you are just as likely to see a question posted early on Friday morning (depending on your time zone) as you are to see one posted in the afternoon.

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8  
It's always Friday in Iceland apparently. –  Earlz Apr 7 '10 at 23:00

Meme: Hyphen site

Originator: ??

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Jeff Atwood created a blog-post defining Stack Overflow as the anti-Experts-Exchange. experts-exchange.com was originally just expertsexchange.com. The change (to avoid the domain being mistaken for ExpertSexChange.com) occurred years prior to Jeff's blog, but the legacy of the site lent to this nickname on Meta Stack Overflow.

Often seen as "you know, that other question-and-answer site. With the hyphen in the name... you know what I'm talking about" or something to that effect.

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Meme: Burninated

Origin: Possibly Jeff Atwood / Strongbad: Trogdor the Burninator

Cultural Height: 2010 - 2011

Background: Used in reference to deleting a tag from the system.

See Also: The official burninated dragon *New proposed graphics, Trogdor the Video Game.

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2  
Oh wow, the whole time I thought Jeff or someone else on the team made up that drawing as the pluralization mascot turned tag deleter. –  Jeff Mercado Aug 9 '11 at 5:24

Meme: HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED

Originator: TheTXI

Cultural Height: Early July 2009

Background: HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED is Rich B. The oldest surviving reference is here, earlier references having been on questions since deleted. There are urban legends surrounding him, all of which are probably true.

Alias: The Great Edit Nazi

Another Alias: Geoffrey Chetwood, now GEOCHET

share|improve this answer
14  
Here is a pertinent web comic by Mr. Randall Monroe over at xkcd that sums it up quite succinctly: xkcd.com/386 –  snicker Nov 3 '09 at 17:53
4  
Thanks for the comment upvote Rich B! –  snicker Nov 3 '09 at 19:58
12  
I wouldn't upvote any comment containing a lame XKCD reference. Don't flatter yourself. –  GEOCHET Nov 3 '09 at 20:29
44  
Thanks for your uncanny grasp of sarcasm Rich B! –  snicker Nov 3 '09 at 20:44
1  
I do not think 'Mr. Great Edit Nazi' is all that bad. (But then, I am a Grammar Nazi too, so...) I wasn't here two years ago, so I wouldn't know exactly what happened. Other than this edit war, which @GEOCHET should have admitted defeat to. Possibly, there are other examples... I don't know, @GEOCHET = Good + Bad? –  muntoo Nov 2 '11 at 4:45

Meme: Changing your display name on a whim.
Originator: Welbog
Cultural Height: TBD
Official Response: Limited to one change every 30 days.
Background: User Welbog likes to change his profile whenever it will make a post of his seem funnier. Other times it seems to just be on a whim. He will also edit his "About Me" text, to fit in with his current display name.

Also independently started by voyager in response to a post asking what constituted spam, trying to convey that some users are spam, comedic effect enhanced by answering in a post complaining about the Amazon Monty Python ads appearing when first introduced. After that, it just degenerated into a neverending competition with welbog to out do the wackiness of the other user's changes.

Other changes of management

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7  
This is no meme and voyager did it before Welbog. –  Ladybug Killer Oct 27 '09 at 16:11
7  
This is the first I've seen of this answer. You're missing "Colonel Cockpounder", "Colonel C", "Chicago Ted", "Susan Papadismouslauaslagwhatever" (what was the exact spelling of that?) and "I'm really awesome. Really.". You're not very good at stalking me, meta. –  XMLbog Nov 2 '09 at 21:00
6  
Oh yeah, I was "Ouèlbogue" for a little while, too. You missed that. –  XMLbog Nov 2 '09 at 21:05
1  
@mmyers: no, it wasn't your imagination, it was the drugs talking. I'm not sure if mine or yours. –  perbert Nov 5 '09 at 0:15
3  
It should stay open and attract all the downvotes that it can. –  random Nov 6 '09 at 22:55
1  
I actually like this post. Upon reflection, I decided to upvote it. But maybe that's because I'm flattered to be on this list, where I really don't belong. :) –  John Rudy Nov 7 '09 at 7:05
11  
I'm starting to hate this meme. –  Ólafur Waage Nov 10 '09 at 22:04
5  
+1 because, while this isn't a popular meme, it is a meme. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 11 '09 at 22:38
6  
Are you seriously going to try to keep this post up-to-date? It's a losing battle. –  mmyers Nov 18 '09 at 18:45
5  
The inaccuracies of this answer are almost compelling enough for me to go in and fix them. I had to stop myself twice in the last minute from editing it. It's very hard. Also, who has been upvoting this? I liked it better when it was at the bottom of the thread where I could find it easily to see how wrong you guys always are. –  XMLbog Nov 18 '09 at 20:43
1  
I fixed Welbog's inaccuracy just to spite Welbog, but I refuse to add myself. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 18 '09 at 21:35
3  
Why are you deleting it? Think of the children! –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 19 '09 at 3:08
4  
Seriously though, why would anyone want to delete this great track in history? –  random Nov 20 '09 at 1:17
2  
Wow I had no idea that this was being tracked in such detail.. I should have picked a better post to be chronicled here than my drunken rant :) –  Ether Nov 21 '09 at 1:46
4  
@The thanks! :) We at P.G. Rep Mining Co. are committed to top-notch, optimized rep extraction in a changing world - with our environment in mind. We were voted the world's top sustainable rep extractor in 2010. –  Pëkka Dec 10 '11 at 17:08

Meme: The Language That Must Not Be Named (or Brainf_ck)

Originator: Unclear. The censorship of the Language That Must Not Be Named has been around for a long time. However, the question that caused the ensuing war was asked by user Jon B in response to the favorite esoteric language question on Stack Overflow, where several people (notably Lance Roberts, myself, and, appropriately, He Who Must Not Be Named) were engaged in a low-intensity edit war.

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: The little question that started the big war was asked by Jon B after a certain more liberal (on this issue, at least - I can't speak for his personal or political beliefs) moderator asked that the term be preserved, as it is the name of the language. Several users replied, generating much heated debate and some equally heated flaming. The conflict lasted for several hours, generating 13 upvotes on two answers in favor of the term being used unaltered, 9 in favor of it being used but resigned that it probably shouldn't be, and several others, along with a notable (and rather noble) answer by Lance out-and-out opposed to the word that generated an impressive -19 votes. Then Jeff Atwood came in, edited (and locked) all posts to use the censored form, and effectively ended the debate.

Further Background: It should be noted that the accepted answer, while a good answer (it received an upvote from me), is not representative of the highest "community-choice" answer (and isn't meant to be - Jon B said he picked the answer he most agreed with, since there really doesn't seem to be an answer everyone can agree on in this situation).

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6  
WOW! I am new to the site and had never read this question. It saddens me to see that we are below the level of Wikipedia in formality. –  user150068 Sep 9 '10 at 23:00

Meme: Porblem, Halting Issue, Pro-blem, pr0blem

Originator: Unknown

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Late 2011, the SO devs decided to add a filter to question titles blocking (among others) the word Problem. Even though this change undoubtedly managed to block a lot of crap (if just for a short time), it lead to great discontent among the Meta community. With great glee, they pointed out that people started circumventing the filter by using slight variations of the word - among them porblem, pro-blem, and issue. Various users and moderators have renamed themselves in protest:

  • Josh Caswell: Problem
  • MPelletier: problAm
  • NullUserException ♦: ProblematicTitleException ♦
  • Robert Harvey ♦: pr0blem ♦

Related:

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12  
Originator: Kevin Montrose, of course. –  NullUserException อ_อ Dec 12 '11 at 20:31

Meme: Slowest Cheater in the East (SCITE)

Originator: Mehrdad

First Heard: August 26th, 2009

Definition: A term borne of the protest incited when changes to the default sorting order of questions were instituted to compensate for the disproportionate attention given late-arriving answers.

Background: On August 26th, questions with the same vote rank were changed from a sort order of oldest-first to a random ordering. This change sparked a controversy among users who claimed that the change would encourage "strategic down-voting."

From: What has happened to the sorting of answers on Stack Overflow?

The new system creates plenty of horrible problems (the slowest cheater in the east (SCITE) problem) just to solve FGITW, which was not a big issue.

For instance, today, I answered a question and a virtually identical answer appeared 3 minutes later and got upvoted. In this specific case, the guy himself was nice enough to upvote me, but I honestly don't think it's a good thing to post a dupe answer after 3 minutes and leave it there. -- Mehrdad

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11  
A meme is a catchphrase or concept. "Slowest Cheater in the East" qualifies on both accounts (which just happens to have a convenient acronym). –  Robert Cartaino Sep 1 '09 at 22:38
14  
Or, by some personal preferences, it could be an initia... I just had the strangest sense of déjà vu. –  Christopher Galpin Sep 21 '09 at 5:08

Meme: "The Great Mythical Rep Re-Calc"

Originator: ???

First Heard: (by me? two minutes ago. but I'm really awesome. Really sez so, so it's gotta be true, right?)

Cultural Height: 5'3" without shoes. Or so I've heard.

Background: Apparent fears of downvote weights increasing among the general user population. Rep-whores in fear for their ill-gotten points. Due to arrive in six to eight weeks, although it's possible my leg is being pulled.

Official Response: The Great Mythical Rep Re-Calc occurred in March, 2010. Rumors now grow of another Great Rep Re-Calc. It could occur in as little as 6-8 weeks...

More research is needed.

The other shoe dropped Feb 27, 2011. Nothing will ever be the same.

The final shoe dropped almost exactly a year later. Everything will always be the same (where "everything" encompasses only "display rep" and "actual rep").

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7  
You mean the great mythical rep recalc. :) Like unicorns, we don't know that it actually exists in anything but our wildest fantasies. It's promised to arrive "in six to eight weeks". –  Ether Nov 4 '09 at 1:31

Meme: Oy

Origin: rchern

Cultural Height: TBD

First Seen: MSO Chat, probably in The Tavern

Background: Not completely known. Some believe it is the Jewish / Yiddish phrase "Oy Vey". Others like Michael Myers believe "It's 'yo' backwards. [Because] everything is backwards in Missouri.". "Oy" most frequently shows up in MSO chat, with at least 2 - 5 "oy"s showing up per day

alt text

Also, roughly 85% of the time "oy" is said in chat, that message receives at least one if not multiple stars. Some like Yi Jiang believe "oy"s are a form of currency.

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8  
"oy" could refer to representation of Russian word "оу"(cyrillic) which means "Oh" in English. And considering that surname Chernoff (the surname of user rchern) has Russian roots it could be right explanation of oy's nature . –  igor milla Mar 22 '11 at 18:17
2  
@igormilla oy, it's obviously currency. –  Xeoncross Feb 22 '12 at 21:08
5  
Might also be related to Oi? –  Junuxx Jun 3 '12 at 14:40
1  
In Brazilian Portuguese it's "hello". –  JMCF125 Dec 30 '13 at 15:09

Meme: Greasemonkey

Originator: Jonathan Sampson

Cultural Height: First month of Meta Stack Overflow's existence.

Background: Greasemonkey originated as an offshoot of the Stack Overflow jQuery meme. This is due to the high frequency of requests by users for certain types of functionality for the Stack Overflow family of websites, many of which were easily solved using custom Greasemonkey scripts. Before long nearly every feature request could be seen as solvable through some type of Greasemonkey script (whether for real or just in the imagination of a commenter).

See Also: jQuery (Stack Overflow predecessor)

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Meme: Oscillation

Originator: asdf_enel_hak

First Heard: February 3rd, 2013 (Deleted. >10k only. Screenshot for mortals)

Cultural Height: Oscillates between then and now

Definition: The repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states (Wikipedia). Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum, AC power, and a fickle mind.

Background: A user experienced an existential crisis and, as a result of "a changing mind", started to "think larger", "in any direction". This led him on an answer-unaccepting spree, subverting (or, in his own words, oscillating) the accept system by taking away the well-deserved 15 reputation from every user who had hitherto answered his questions to his satisfaction, as well as the 2 reputation that was originally awarded to himself for accepting the answers to begin with.

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12  
It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall I was there for the creation. No, really. –  J. Steen Feb 6 '13 at 14:28
1  
Personally I prefer this form of oscillation –  Yi Jiang Feb 6 '13 at 14:34
3  
This has bled over IRL for me; I've started using this as my answer at home as well. "Why aren't the dishes done?" "Oscillation." –  LittleBobbyTables Feb 12 '13 at 18:51
1  
The original answer has been deleted. Screenshot here. –  Arjan Jul 29 '13 at 6:53
1  
Noooo, the answer got deleted?! That answer was amazing! :P But seriously, it's linked to all over the place; I'm going to have to get 10k on meta just to vote to undelete it :( (@Cody) –  Doorknob Jul 29 '13 at 13:14

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